Imagine a friend tells you eerie accounts of her witnessing a ghostly presence in her home. You scoff and condescendingly humour her. But as her stories begin to manifest itself in her gaunt appearance, you alarmingly notice how she truly believes in the apparitions she recounts. You begin to doubt her sanity, you begin to doubt the certainty with which you dismissed her supernatural visions and now, you begin to doubt yourself. THE SUSPENSE BUILDS.
But let’s say this friend filmed the ghostly apparitions and showed them to you. Sure – the evidence of this ghost is frighteningly scary. But the suspense that was built in the doubt, uncertainty and ambiguity of your friend’s tale is now lost. The ghosts caught in film acts as another eyewitness and another medium to validate your friend’s narrative. Your friend is no longer the only person who sees these ghosts, shattering all doubt within you of the ghost’s existence. THE SUSPENSE – is gone.
Notice how the form and genre of the spoken word in the first example was meaningful in its the effect on the reader? But when the form changed to a film, the meaningful suspense and ambiguity that was unique and crucial in the original text, changed, and was no longer as pronounced. Yes – the film itself may be terrifying. But the very doubt and suspense around not knowing if your friend was a lunatic for seeing ghosts or if she was telling the truth all contributes to the meaning derived from the form of the ‘text’ in an unreliable first person narrative. This is the crux of adaptations and transformations, and what you need to identify and analyse – how the meaning is changed/altered when the form of the text is changed.
Here are 7 lucky tips for how to tackle the SAC:
Final questions to ponder
Most importantly is to share your original interpretation of what meaning and significance you can extract from the text, and how you believe it changes once the form alters.
What makes the text in its original form interesting or unique?
Is that quality captured in its adaptation/transformation?
As always with Literature, this task is designed for you to critically analyse and actively engage with the text, understanding its nuances inside and out in order to decipher its meaning. Be individual in comparing and contrasting the two texts – avoid the obvious similarities/differences everyone in your class will also notice. It is the insightful analysis of the subtleties of how meaning is altered that will help you stand out!
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